WASHINGTON, D.C.—Acting Interior assistant secretary for Insular Areas Nikolao Pula made available this week $516,031 in technical assistance grant funding for the benefit of several programs that are identified as priority needs by Guam Gov. Eddie Calvo.
“Guam is the biggest island of the U.S. insular areas in the Pacific and an important regional hub for cultural and business travel and exchange,” said Pula. “We are pleased to provide this funding that assists the government of Guam to keep the public safe and ensure overall efficiencies in public services.”
Department of Public Health and Social Services ($204,060) to improve automation in the processing of applications for health certificates, sanitary permits, and controlled substances registration certificates. Funds will also provide for conversion of the current database to Filemaker Pro, which will enable Web-enabled application and payment services, as well as reduce fraud and abuse.
Guam Police Department ($13,671) for the Mandaña Community Oriented Policing App (Neighborhood watch program). The neighborhood watch program has already proven effective in Barrigada and Agaña Heights, not only in reducing incidences of burglary, larceny and assault, but also improving the climate for business, access to community facilities and improved services, and ensuring overall revitalization of common village areas on the island. The mobile application part of the project allows citizens to utilize the latest technology to access and report issues related to public safety. Mobile apps also provide law enforcement agencies such as the Mariana Regional Fusion Center with real-time information, useful for criminal intelligence analysis. Push notifications will also be a feature for people in the community with mobile technology to connect to government alerts and other surveillances.
Guam Fire Department ($94,800) to purchase 12 new self-contained breathing apparatus units to provide proper respiratory protection for the firefighters on Guam. Twelve of the 60 units currently being operated by the Guam Fire Department will now meet the most recent Fire Protection Association standards. The Guam Fire Department plays an important role in ensuring the quality of life and public safety for a population of roughly 170,000 on the island.
Office of Accountability. ($76,000) supports an ongoing collaboration between the Guam Office of Public Accountability and the Department of the Interior Office of Inspector General, which provides for staff training and overall capacity building. The strategy is to promote excellence, integrity, and accountability among staff and to ensure efficient and effective use of federal funds.
Offices of Homeland Security and Civil Defense. ($127,500) to automate current licensing and permitting processes and streamline services provided through the Guam One Stop Licensing Center, which processes all business and professional license applications, as well as building permits and schedules inspections. This collaborative project between numerous agencies and departments, such as Revenue and Taxation, Public Works, the Fire Department, the Police Department, the Guam Visitor’s Bureau, the Guam Contractors License Board and others, will ensure an improved one-stop shop service through a cloud-based system, providing access and flexibility for all end-users and integrating all department systems under one platform. This project also supports recommendations provided by the Interior inspector general who flagged loss of tax revenue due to ineffective implementation of the business license clearance process. This project is expected to be completed by 2019. (PR)